Why we need libraries

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Historically libraries were set up to enable people to access books and information freely. Our society would be much poorer and less egalitarian if libraries disappeared… and knowledge was no longer shared. Libraries bridge the gap between those who have and those who do not.

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Libraries are portals to all of the world’s knowledge. And librarians make sure that knowledge continues to be recorded and saved for the future, even as information-storage devices and formats change. They are the defenders of intellectual freedom.

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Libraries can make a positive difference to individuals’ self-esteem, confidence, independence and sense of responsibility in regard to their own learning.

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Research shows that a strong library program that is adequately staffed, resourced and funded can lead to higher student achievement regardless of the socioeconomic or educational levels of the adults in the student’s household.

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Libraries build community. They are a place to explore, interact and imagine: where positive relationships are formed, recommendations are made, and a reading culture is formed. Libraries are one of the most effective ways to prevent social isolation of the elderly and vulnerable. In the words of a motto written on the wall of the ancient library of Alexandria: “The place of the cure of the soul”.

– compiled by Trisha Evans for Friends of Chagford Library

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